Photographer: Aaron Wojack/Bloomberg
Photographer: Aaron Wojack/Bloomberg

Fast Cars, Powerful Women: The U.S.'s First All-Female Ferrari Rally

Ferrari rallies are not notable. Every summer plenty of six- and seven-figure 488s, LaFerraris, and 458s parade up and down along the nation’s most scenic highways. But a supercar rally exclusive to female Ferrari owners? That's a first in the U.S. This past weekend four such supercars—plus two Lamborghinis—completed a San Francisco-to-Santa Barbara run, and we tagged along for the ride. Photographs by Aaron Wojack/Bloomberg
Causing a Scene
Causing a Scene

Friday, Aug. 5, the group of six drivers and six cars started the 350-mile trip at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco's Nob Hill district. Their destination was the Bacara Resort & Spa near Santa Barbara, Calif. 

Driving for a Cause
Driving for a Cause

The Prancing Ponies Foundation funds international trips for teenage girls. Each trip, which focuses on cultural immersion, lasts six weeks and is awarded to recent high-school graduates from low economic and underserved backgrounds. Representatives from the fund say international travel works to help raise teenage girls' self-confidence and self-esteem. 

High Achievers
High Achievers

Christine Sloss drove a 2015 Ferrari LaFerrari Giallo Triplo in canary yellow. Sloss and her husband, Google executive Benjamin Sloss, are known Ferrari enthusiasts. He famously gave her a Ferrari FXX K for her birthday last year; the couple also reportedly owns a Ferrari 599XX Evo. 

Lap of Luxury
Lap of Luxury

All Ferrari cars use paddle-shifting and screaming-red stop/start ignition buttons. Their cockpits include famous round dials, leather covered sport seats, and flat-bottomed steering wheels.

Proper Driving Gear
Proper Driving Gear

Christine Sloss, left, and rally organizer Chanterria McGilbra leave the Fairmont hotel in full racing garb. McGilbra is the manager of corporate operations for Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. in Novato, Calif. 

Posh Photo Opp
Posh Photo Opp

The group of six drivers included women who work as pharmaceutical reps, amateur car racers, artists, executives, and interior designers. It cost $5,000 to enter a car, plus $3,500 for each nondriving guest. 

 

On the Road
On the Road

The group left San Francisco on Friday, Aug. 5, headed out on Interstate 280, and drove south on Highway 1. Drivers were: Chanterria McGilbra, Christine Sloss, Gabriela Forte, Colleen Costello, Agne Chrsitensen, and Susan D.

 

Iconic Vistas, Tight Turns
Iconic Vistas, Tight Turns

The route on Highway 1 from San Francisco through Big Sur runs right next to the Pacific Ocean. Much of it is two-lane highway fraught with tight corners and winding curves; the impulse to look at the astounding view is constantly mitigated by the demanding geography of the road.

Impromptu Stop
Impromptu Stop

The drivers in the rally made an unplanned stop to visit the Mid-Coast Fire Brigade of Big Sur. Firemen there have been fighting the Soberanes Fire, which in the past week has destroyed dozens of homes and thousands of acres in the forested region north of Big Sur.

Follow the Leader
Follow the Leader

The rally included a white Ferrari 458 Italia, a yellow LaFerrari, a white California, an orange Lamborghini Huracan, a gray California Convertible, and a chrome red Lamborghini Aventador SV. 

Take a Break
Take a Break

Ferraris range in price from the low-$200,000 range for a Ferrari California to well more than $1 million for the LaFerrari and other limited-edition models. The company makes a four-seat model, the FF, but no four-door or SUV options. Last year it sold just over 2,600 models in North America.

Lunch Break
Lunch Break

The drivers stopped for a meal at the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, which is the most exclusive boutique hotel in the area. The 100-acre resort, which includes a restaurant and spa, sits on high cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Rooms start at $825 a night.

Rare Air
Rare Air

Sloss's $1.4 million Ferrari LaFerrari has 949 horsepower on a 6.3-liter V12 engine. Ferrari built only 499 examples of the supercar, which sold out almost immediately when it went on sale in 2013. Owning one required more than just money, though: Those who were awarded the privilege to buy one had to already own at least five other Ferraris and be on good terms with Ferrari Chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, who personally approved all 499 buyers.

The Boss
The Boss

Chanterria McGilbra is the executive director of the Prancing Ponies Foundation. She was the first African American women to purchase a Ferrari in Northern California and drove a white Ferrari 458 Italia on the route.  

Coffee Stop
Coffee Stop

Stops along the way included Cambria Coffee Roasting Company in Cambria, Calif., south of Hearst Castle along the California coast. The company focuses on single-origin, speciality roasted coffee. 

Limited-Edition Aventador
Limited-Edition Aventador

Susan D. drove a limited-edition 2016 Lamborghini Aventador SV for the rally. The $403,000 740-horsepower "superveloce" car can hit 62 mph in 2.8 seconds. Top speed exceeds 200 mph. 

Evening Magic
Evening Magic

Evening temperatures along Big Sur can reach 50 degrees, even during August. Daytime temperatures during the summer hover around the high 70s. Fog is common in the morning with an atmospheric haze in the evening.

Day One Done
Day One Done

The route ended at Bacara Resort & Spa, where drivers then took helicopter rides to nearby wineries. The resort is notable for its health and wellness programs, three zero-edge saline swimming pools, native art classes, and historic St. Francis chapel on site. 

Jumpsuits to Eveningwear
Jumpsuits to Eveningwear

Registration for the 2017 Prancing Ponies rally is open now.